23 July 2011

Brompton Ergon GR2 grips and bar ends

Sometime ago I mentioned that I was going to try some longer bar-ends on my Brompton. The main reason for the change was that I’d cut my first set of Ergon grips to match the original brake levers and then promptly changed the brake levers for different ones.

I thought I’d take the opportunity to try some slightly longer bar-ends as the first ones I tried were a little short. This time around I went for the latest Ergon GR2 grips (the older 2010 version are a little shorter and seem to be made of metal). I thought that if the new ones were too long to fold I’d still be able to use the new grips with the old bar-ends. That turned out to be wrong as the two grips use completely different systems for attaching the bar-ends to the grips as you can see below (note that the GR2 grip on the right is upside down in this picture).

Fortunately, the new bar-ends turned out to fold just fine.

The other change I made was to go for the smaller size grips. I found some information on the internet, supposedly from Ergon, that said that the only difference between the grip sizes was the circumference of the grip. Comparing the two grips above you can see that actually the pad area is also a little bit smaller on the smaller grips (although I guess the difference could be down to the different models, but that seems unlikely).

As before I went for the normal length grips knowing that I’d have to cut them down a little. As you can see below, with the new brake levers the grips are only slightly too long.

Unfortunately, due to the length of the bar-ends they need to be pretty much horizontal when unfolded so that they stay off the ground when the bike is folded, and even then one still gets a little scratched. I would prefer to be able to angle them slightly upwards for riding.

I do prefer these longer GR2 bar-ends to the shorter GC2 ones; the extra length makes a difference and helps you to get a decent grip. The rubbery patches on the bar-ends also make them feel a bit more comfortable and less slippy. Whilst overall they are not quite as good to use as the normal bar-ends on my full size bike, they are still pretty good. For anyone looking to get some bar-ends I’d definitely recommend these over the shorter GC2s.